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Westchester Legislators Vote To Ban Gun Shows On County Property

Westchester County legislators, by a 9-8 vote on Monday, narrowly passed a ban on gun shows on county property. Photo Credit: Provided
Michael Kaplowitz, D-Somers, who is chairman of the Westchester County Board of Legislators, said he learned about next month's firearms show at the County Center from this sign. Photo Credit: Provided
A Joint Meeting of Committees on Legislation, Labor/Parks/Planning/Housing, & Public Safety & Social Services on Tuesday, where county lawmakers recommended a ban on gun shows held on county property. The local law will be put to a vote on Jan. 9. Photo Credit: Provided

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westchester County's Board of Legislators narrowly passed legislation Monday night that bans gun shows on county property. But the 9-8 vote is too late to stop a gun show planned on Jan. 21-22 at the Westchester County Center.

Act #9417 will now be sent to County Executive Rob Astorino, who is expected to veto the measure.

Legislator Ken Jenkins, D-Yonkers, the original sponsor of the bill, was joined by his Democratic colleagues in the passage of this measure which was first proposed after the school shooting which took place in Newtown, Conn.

“To profit from this is just not the business Westchester residents want to be in," Jenkins said.

“It was moving to witness the support this measure has, from the petition with over 5,000 signatures to countless number of messages my colleagues and I received since the January gun and knife show was announced,” said Legislator Catherine Parker, D-Rye.

“I do not believe that County government should be promoting, encouraging, aiding and abetting the proliferation of guns in our community by using taxpayers’ buildings for guns shows,” said Legislator Lyndon Williams, D-Mount Vernon.

The vote was prompted by plans for a gun show at the County Center in White Plains on Jan. 21-22, as reported here by Daily Voice.

Monday's vote is unlikely to stop this month's show, according to a county official. That's because Astorino, who supports the gun show, has 10 days to veto any newly-passed law. A veto would happen on Jan. 19 at the latest, giving legislators little time to override a veto -- and no real chance of stopping this month's show legislatively.

Last month, Astorino defended resumption of the gun show in White Plains, saying: “The Northeast Gun show has historically been one of the best run and most well-attended shows we host at the County Center. We expect the show in January to be no different and we encourage not just sportsmen and firearm enthusiasts in Westchester and throughout the Hudson Valley to attend, but also the general public."

NorthEast Gun Shows and Westchester Collectors announced a two-day firearm and knife show/sale at the County Center on the weekend after Inauguration Day. More details can be found by clicking here.

After a gunman murdered 20 children and six teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in November 2012, Astorino canceled a show scheduled for February 2013 at County Center. There hasn't been one since.

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